NBA and NCAA Betting

Differences between NBA and NCAA Basketball Betting


When it comes to the actual betting process, there is really no difference between the NBA and NCAA basketball. Both the pro and college game feature the same style of wagers, so bettors can seamlessly move back and forth between the two.

However, there are some slight differences between NBA and NCAA basketball betting that people should know. And knowing these subtleties can make all the difference in regard to earning profits. That said, let's discuss some of the contrasts between NCAA and NBA betting strategy.

1. Traveling and Longer Schedules are Very Important in the NBA

Most NCAA basketball teams only play around 32-35 games during the season. Furthermore, they only play twice a week on average and don't normally face brutal cross-country road trips. NBA teams, on the other hand, play an 82-game regular season schedule, and often embark on 5-8 game road trips that can send them coast-to-coast.

Considering all of this, you really have to account for fatigue and lengthy road trips in NBA games. This means reviewing a team's schedule and predicting what level of intensity they're going to bring to the court.

ncaa-nba-betting-differences-1 ncaa-nba-betting-differences-2

2. Home Court Advantage is Bigger in NCAA Basketball

It doesn't matter if it's college or the pros, home court advantage is always huge in basketball. However, being on a friendly court can make even more of a difference in the NCAA game. That's because, on average, each contest is more important, fans are wilder, arenas get louder, and away players are less experienced in dealing with taunting fans.

Because of the big home court advantage that NCAA teams enjoy, away underdogs have less of a chance to win. This is especially the case when you get a ranked team playing at home against a mediocre or bad underdog. On the contrary, NBA underdogs have a little better opportunity to win on the road due to the home team's fatigue, lack of motivation, and/or uninspired fans.

3. College Basketball features More Intense Rivalries

Rivalries are present in both the NBA and NCAA basketball. However, college basketball rivalries have a lot more history behind them and are normally more intense. Taking Big Ten basketball for example, the Michigan Wolverines and Michigan State Spartans are both heated rivals since these teams are in the same state and have faced off for centuries. Likewise, the Big 12 basketball conference features a bad-blood matchup between Kansas and Kansas State.

The heated rivalries in college basketball can often have a big impact on point spreads. Going further, many underdogs rise to the challenge and cover the spread - especially at home. Of course, a motivated favorite could also blow its rival out to get revenge for a previous loss.

4. Talent Levels are Closer in the NBA

NCAA Division 1 basketball features over 10 times the number of teams that the NBA does. Taking this into account, you're going to see a lot bigger discrepancies with on-court talent. For example, you might see a stacked Duke University squad taking on an overmatched Winthrop team. This is going to lead to a huge and unpredictable point spread, which is probably best avoided.

Contrast this to the NBA, where there are only 32 teams and more evenly-distributed talent. Sure the Miami Heat are normally better than the Charlotte Bobcats each year. However, the Bobcats have plenty of former college stars who are capable of hanging with the Heat on any given night. So just know that you can't always count out a losing NBA ballclub simply because they're facing a top team.

5. Varying Playing Styles have a Bigger Impact in College

One of the most fascinating things about NCAA basketball involves the wide range of playing styles. Some teams run a matchup zone defense while others run a full-court press all game. There are teams that like to pound the ball inside to their centers and forwards, while others clubs employ a three-guard offense that shoots 3-pointers like crazy.

Due to these wildly varying matchups, trying to predict point spreads, moneylines and totals can be extremely difficult. So you need to put more work into understanding how differing playing styles match up against each other. And while the NBA also features plenty of different offensive and defensive schemes, talent almost always wins over the duration of the season.

Assuming you wager on both NBA and NCAA basketball games, make sure to keep the previously discussed differences in mind so you can win with both the college and pros.